Location: Downtown Manhattan. The Lower East Side is now defined as the area below Houston, above Delancey (or Grand - as you prefer) and east of Bowery. It should be noted that in the first half of the 20th century everything up to 14th street - including today's East Village was considered part of the Lower East Side.
Character: Formerly known as the dirty and seedy neighborhood next to dirty and seedy Chinatown, the Lower East Side has completely transformed itself during the last decade.
It has always attracted an artsy crowd, in the 80s its cheap rents and clubs were a center for punks and artists alike. Now, more cleaned-up and refined, the Lower East Side is home to countless artsy boutiques, bars, restaurants and galleries. Starting south of Houston to Delancey-ish and over to 2nd avenue, the area is always busy and bustling. The constant happenings can be great for some, but others may find its "never sleep" aura to be too much to handle.
Demographics: While the LES is less expensive than other parts of Manhattan, its residents are mainly young, hip people that have semi-comfortable incomes.
Apartments & Real Estate
Apartments in general have been getting updated. The Lower East Side used to be known for run-down slums with crazy "features" (like having your shower in the kitchen). This isn't really a regular happening anymore, although don't be surprised if you come across some 7-floor walkups. Also, don't judge a building by its foyer and stairway as they seem to be the last to get updated. You can find many buildings with dingy foyers that have neat and modern apartments.
One curious problem for would-be sharers in this neighborhood is that many of the 2-bedroom apartments here have one giant master bedroom and one tiny bedroom - something that's just bound to cause frustration between roommates!
If you're looking for deals, we recommend you look closer to the border with Chinatown: the rents tend to be lower there.
Selected Rental Buildings
See all Lower East Side Rental Apartment Buildings (59 buildings)
Selected No-Fee Rental Listings
See all Lower East Side No-Fee Rental Apartments (15 total)
Condo & Co-op Buildings
See all Lower East Side Condo Apartment Buildings (10 buildings)
See our list of Lower East Side Co-op Apartment Buildings (7 buildings)